I guess I could simplify the name of the cookies with one or two catchy words… but that escapes me right now. It escapes me because they were so delicious and so full of layered flavors, with the tiniest amount of heat, that I think just listing off the main flavors is good enough. So there you go.
As a personal Chef, one of the top three questions that I am asked by other’s interested in this line of the culinary arts is “Do clients tell you what to cook?”.
Yes, initially when the client and I start working together. It’s natural. It’s “discovery” on their part and on mine. They want to know (taste) my strengths, and I want to know (discover) their tastes. So yes, about the first three months of working with a daily/weekly client is “Hey, Scotty! Will you make…?.
Once the client and I are both in the groove and I know what they enjoy, the “Hey, Scotty…” stops. That's fine, and in my opinion, it shows trust. They are trusting me with their meals and I know they will enjoy what I prepare.
Now every once and awhile, and it typically involves a dessert, I get that sweet (pun intended) “hey, Scotty…”. When it’s sweet, when they put full trust in me coming up with any sweet treat that I choose, it is like music to my ears. A challenge, and most importantly for this recipe collection that I am in the process of pulling together in book form… a new recipe.
Maybe that could be the name of these cookies… HEY, SCOTTY COOKIES?
Ingredients: Makes 12-18 cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temp
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons almond extract
2 cups All Purpose flour
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon Cocoa Powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon In The Kitchen With Scotty “More Than Pumpkin Pie Spice” *
1/2 cups chopped whole almonds (slivered almonds optional)
12-18 Maraschino Cherries, drained not rinsed
For The Chocolate Ganache Drizzle:
4 ounces semi sweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup hot heavy whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
* Substitute with a mix of ground cinnamon and nutmeg, 3:1 ratio.
Chop or break up your chocolate and place into a bowl. Heat the heavy cream until simmering, then pour onto the chopped chocolate. Mix together slowly until smooth. Mix in the almond extract.
- Begin by creaming the butter and both sugars together in a mixing bowl with your mixer. Whip until light and fluffy. Add the two eggs, one at a time. and until each is mixed in completely. Scrape down your bowl and add the vanilla extract and almond extract, and mix.
- In a separate bowl combine the All Purpose flour, baking soda and baking powder, the cocoa, cayenne, and More Than Pumpkin Pie Spice. Mix with a spoon to combine. A half cup at a time begin mixing the dry ingredients into the butter, sugar and egg mixture. Mix the dry into the wet until all is combined. Scrape your bowl down, sides and bottom, and complete your mixing.
- With a rubber spatula fold in the 1/2 cup of crushed almonds. Fold in evenly. Cover and let the dough rest for 20 minutes. In the mean time preheat your oven to 375 degrees and prepare a cookie baking pan with cooking spray or parchment. Drain the maraschino cherries and have them in a bowl ready.
- Scoop out the dough onto your baking sheet pan with a 2-4 ounce scoop, or eyeball it yourself with a spoon. Just make sure they are evenly sized. Place in the oven and bake 10-12 minutes, or until puffed, fragrant, and slightly crisp on the edges.
- Pull the cookies out and while still hot carefully push a cherry into the center of the molten hot cookie. Let the cookies cool for 10 minutes, then remove the cookies to a cooling rack.
- While your cookies are cooling, prepare your chocolate ganache drizzle. Using a piping bag, a makeshift bag using plastic baggies, or with a simple dinner fork, drizzle the ganache over your cookies. They're your cookies so use as much of the ganache as you like. Enjoy!